JUST IN: Arizona Supreme Court Overrules Sanctions and Attorney Fees Against Arizona GOP for Questioning 2020 Election

by Jordan Conradson at thegatewaypundit.com

In a unanimous ruling, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Maricopa County Superior Court and Arizona Court of Appeals wrongfully sanctioned the Arizona Republican party in awarding attorney fees against them over a lawsuit challenging Maricopa County’s post-election hand-count audit procedures.

“We hold that the attorney fees award was improper because Petitioners’ claim was not groundless, thus obviating any need to determine whether the claim was made in the absence of good faith,” Justice John Lopez writes in the court’s opinion.

“During times of social and political contention and strife, we must be mindful that our courts provide a means of resolving such conflicts when issues are legitimately presented. By sanctioning parties and their lawyers for bringing debatable, long-shot complaints, courts risk chilling legal advocacy and citizens raising ‘questions’ under the guise of defending the rule of law. Even if done inadvertently and with the best of intentions, such sanctions present a real and present danger to the rule of law,” the ruling also states.

The Arizona Mirror reports,

The lawsuit was filed more than a week after the 2020 election and argued that the state law requiring limited post-election hand-count audits conflicted with the state’s Elections Procedures Manual, making it illegal to select ballots for the audit from voting centers instead of by precinct.

State law requires each county to hand count 1% of all early ballots, as well as the ballots from 2% of precincts after each election. The Election Procedures Manual issued by the secretary of state permits counties that use voting centers instead of precincts, a list that includes Maricopa County, to hand count the ballots from 2% of voting centers instead.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah dismantled the legal arguments that the AZGOP and its attorneys made. In addition to ignoring the law and the legislature’s intent when allowing for voting centers, Hannah said the Republican Party sought a remedy that the law doesn’t allow and waited far too long to file its suit.

The judge also said the party demonstrated it was not motivated by sincerely challenging a public policy, but instead by making a political case and sowing distrust about Arizona’s elections.